Secret Path Week
Secret Path Week
October 18th – 22nd, 2021
Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants is super excited to be working with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) for another series of Secret Path Week virtual education events, taking place from Oct. 18th-22nd, 2021. During Secret Path Week, we’ll be featuring Indigenous-led instruction and education. This will be a valuable way to engage your class in reconciliation and encourage your students to “Do Something”!
DWF is part of musician Gord Downie’s legacy and embodies his commitment, and that of both the Downie and Wenjack families, build cultural understanding and create a path towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The goal of DWF is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s Residential School story, and to support the reconciliation process through awareness, education, and action.
Secret Path Week is a national movement commemorating the legacies of Gord Downie (d. Oct. 17, 2017) and Chanie Wenjack (d. Oct. 22, 1966). The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund would like to inspire all Canadian classrooms to use this week to answer Gord Downie’s call to action, and “Do Something”.
Your classroom can “Do Something” and become a Legacy School! The Legacy Schools program is a free national initiative to engage, empower and connect students and educators to further reconciliation through awareness, education and action (#reconciliACTION). Upon signing up as a Legacy School, educators will receive a Legacy Schools Toolkit free-of-charge. These toolkits contain resources to engage students, staff, and the school community and act as a catalyst for their commitment to the work of reconciliation.
For more information and to sign up: https://downiewenjack.ca/our-work/legacy-schools-programs/
Virtual Classroom Events
All Event Times Listed in Eastern
Angela Miracle Gladue
October 18th @ 10:00am eastern
Angela is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and artist from Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta – Treaty 6 territory) and is a member of Frog Lake First Nation. She has over 15 years of professional dance experience as an entertainer and has taught in countless schools, Indigenous communities, youth centres and conferences throughout North America since 2004. Angela believes in a responsibility to share the knowledge she has gained and continues to pursue dance education while using her existing skills to mentor others so they can succeed. Currently, Angela tours with the Juno Award winning group A Tribe Called Red and is available for performance opportunities, teaching & speaking engagements.
October 18th @ 11:00am eastern
Ecko was born into the Nlaka’pamux Nation and raised with the shishalh Nation. She now lives, works and plays on the traditional territories of the Pentlatch, Snaw-Naw-As and Snuneymuxw First Nations. She is a performing artist working through the disciplines of spoken word, rap and singing. She is also a multimedia digital artist working through the mediums of music, sound and video production. In 2016, Ecko graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver with a diploma in Professional Recording Arts. In 2017 she received the Fred Sheratt MusiCounts Award for Outstanding Recording Arts and Sciences in Toronto, ON. In 2019, Ecko founded Sacred Matriarch Productions.
Ecko is the daughter of a residential school survivor and cycle-breaker for her two young sons. She utilizes her art as a method of healing from intergenerational traumas and believes in using every opportunity to address the dark history Canada was built on. She continues to find new ways that intertwine her love for culture and art including workshop creation and facilitation, program development, art installations, presentations as well as cultural performances and hip-hop shows.
October 18th @ 1:00pm eastern
Sandra is an award winning Cree Métis recording artist, songwriter and musician who writes, records and performs in multiple genres encompassing roots music; including Native Americana, folk, country, pop, jazz and rock. Raised in a loving non-Indigenous family, Sandra affirmed and embraced her ancestral and cultural roots later in life. Like many displaced Indigenous people, honouring her proud cultural roots is important to a woman whose birth heritage was lost through time and circumstance. Sandra’s culture influences her every step through life and she has grown into an active and passionate advocate for Indigenous traditions and rights. Her life journey in both the non-Indigenous and Indigenous worlds has given her a unique perspective and opportunity to bring people together through her songs of reconciliation.
17 Industry nominations in the last three years include wins for a 2021 SSIMA (Best Métis Artist/Group of the Year), a 2018 NAMA (Best Americana) and 2019 IMA (Best Producer/Engineer). Additional nominations include three YYC Music Awards, 1 additional IMA, a CFMA, three additional NAMA’s, two Blues and Roots radio nods, and four ISMA’s. Ms. Sutter also received an Esquao Award (Arts) from the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, an Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta (Arts) Award and a WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada Award.
October 18th @ 2:00pm eastern
Orene, aka DJ O Show, is a well-known DJ, a motivational speaker for Indigenous youth, a Squamish Nation councillor, a voice for the two-spirited on a few different LGBTQ+ boards, and a business coach. Coming from a diverse background, she is driven by her passion. Orene is Afro-Indigenous and a proud member of the Squamish Nation. Feeling as though she stood out in a unique way, she embraced both her cultural backgrounds and incorporates the teachings she has learned into everything she does. Orene has experience teaching with an inspired approach. She is an inspirational speaker, having traveled across the country to bring ambition and drive to all generations, and is an elected member of Squamish Nation Council.
Orene has DJ’d the red carpet for Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week and was voted the official DJ for YES in Ottawa since 2012 and the official DJ for Gathering Our Voices for five years. She is the recipient of a 2015 BC Indigenous Business Award, a 2018 Stand Out Award from the Vancouver Pride Society, and a 2021 Alumni of Excellence Award from Capilano University.
October 19th @ 11:00am eastern
Classic Roots brings the heartbeat of the boreal north to life with his unique brand of Electronica and pow wow techno. The Thunder Bay native is an award winning producer and DJ who is impacting the music community with his fresh sound and meaningful collaborations with diverse artists.
Drawing inspiration from his life and culture, Classic Roots established his original sound by integrating First Nations songs with Electronica music. He navigates the unique sound of techno/house music while dancing to the beat of traditional Anishinaabe sounds, establishing a sense of cultural freedom that echoes throughout the electronic music scene.
In 2015 he was the recipient of the Best Pop CD award at the Indigenous Music Awards for Hack the Planet and his 2016 debut EP Deeply Rooted won Dada Life’s Best Track Award for his demo Coconut Kills. Dada Life received 1500 demos in less than 24 hours but Coconut Kills killed the competition.
Nyle Miigizi Johnston
October 19th @ 1:00pm eastern
Nyle’s spirit name is Wiishkoonseh Miigizi’enh means Whistling White Headed Eagle. He grew up in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and apprenticed with Storytellers since his youth. Sources of his artistic inspiration include woodland painters, Story Tellers and the traditions of his indigenous culture. A painter, mural artist, traditional storyteller, and traditional helper, he uses his gift of storytelling to connect his peoples’ stories of love and healing with the broader world and offer support to a range of community organizations.
His work has been exhibited across many of Canada’s most important institutions, from the AGO and ROM to the Evergreen Brickworks and the Chippewas of Nawash Cultural Centre. His artistic practice is focused on illustrating stories of the Anishinaabe Nation in a variety of media in order to raise awareness of their unique histories as they in turn inform his process. He was born and raised on his beautiful reserve, Neyaashiinigmiing, on the Saugeen Peninsula (Bruce Peninsula) and took a keen interest in painting and art at a very young age.
Solomon Ratt & Arden Ogg
October 20th @ 11:00am eastern
The founders, contributors and friends are of the Cree Literacy Network are united by a life-long commitment to Cree language preservation and revitalization. A big part of that passion is passing it on to others. That means our network always has room to welcome new students, teachers, speakers and linguists. In the words of honorary founder Jean Okimâsis, “kimâmawinikonaw nêhiyawêwin:” the Cree language brings us together.
Arden is the founding director of the Cree Literacy Network, she was born in Winnipeg, a granddaughter of Scottish homesteaders. She “met Cree” in the Intro Linguistics class of H.C. Wolfart at the University of Manitoba. After a brief study of the powwow music, she was invited in 1983 to join Wolfart’s Cree Language Project, where Freda Ahenakew was then an M.A. student. With help from Wolfart and Ahenakew, she grew into the role of technical assistant, editorial partner and typographer, infected with the passionate commitment and respect of her mentors. In 2010, she envisioned the Cree Literacy Network as a means of creating connections among speakers, teachers and students of Cree across the Prairies. The Network was nationally incorporated as an Indigenous not-for-profit in 2011. Through her commitment, Arden strives to repay an enormous debt of gratitude.
Solomon has shared many glimpses of his youth through original short stories written in Woodlands Cree (th-dialect), and published on the Cree Literacy Network. A “veteran” of Residential School, he went on to study at the Regina campus of the University of Saskatchewan (which eventually became SIFC, now FNUC). There, as an adult in the classroom of Dr Jean Okimâsis (who remains his hero), he learned to read and write Cree for the first time. He was soon teaching in the Department of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, and continues there to this day. To support and engage aspiring Cree speakers and readers in the classroom and beyond, Sol uses every trick in the book: traditional storytelling, original writing, audio recordings, karaoke, original drawings and stunning photography, and provides them to us to share. Even as he contemplates retirement and life in the mountains, his delight in the Cree language resurgence he has helped to fuel keeps him teaching every single day.
October 20th @ 1:00pm eastern
Julian Taylor is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter who recently received the Canadian Folk Music Artist of the Year Solo Artist Award. His songs have appeared in television series including Degrassi: The Next Generation, Elementary and Haven. He fronts the Julian Taylor Band, playing an eclectic mix of Americana, funk, soul and rock music.
October 22nd @ 2:00pm eastern
G.R. Gritt is a Juno Award winning, Two-Spirit, Transgender, Francophone, Anishinaabe/Métis artist. After living many years in Yellowknife and forming the band Quantum Tangle, they have recently moved back to Sudbury/Robinson Huron Treaty territory where they grew up. This homecoming coincides with a journey that they feel better represents them. With these changes has come a new voice both physically and in the growing magnetism of their songwriting. G.R. Gritt pulls effortlessly from the past to create soulful futurisms with their new sound that elegantly weaves the melodies using vocals, guitar and new electronic elements. They create both intimate and anthemic music that would fit in a folk club, a dance club and anywhere in between. G.R. Gritt is currently preparing for the release of a new full-length album titled, Ancestors, in 2020 on Coax Records.